County receives $28K ADECA grant
Franklin County is leading the charge in fighting domestic violence.
The county is the first in the state to receive a grant that allows the implementation of a domestic violence program to be created.
Franklin County District Attorney Joey Rushing said he received the grant in October and his office hired a part-time investigator to work with other law enforcement agencies in the county on domestic violence cases and sexual abuse cases.
"Retired Russellville Police Captain David Hester has been hired to help with these type cases in our county," Rushing said.
Hester retired from the Russellville Police Department in 2007 after 27 years of service. He retired as the captain over investigations, where he worked many domestic violence and sexual abuse cases.
"We are very pleased to have been awarded this grant and even more pleased that David was available after retirement to come in and work on a part time basis," Rushing said.
The grant, administered through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, totaled $28,000.
The full cost of the program will be $37,333.
"We (District Attorney's Office) are providing a 10 percent matching fund of $9,333," Rushing said.
The name of the program is Franklin County Violence Prevention Plan, and the program will work closely with Safeplace, Inc. to help victims of abuse.
"Suzanne Swaim was instrumental in getting this grant for our county," Rushing said.
Hester said he looks forward to going back to work even on a part time basis because he knows the affects of domestic violence on the family and the community.
"It's something that affects everyone," he said.
"With the tough times that lay ahead for us economically, we look for an increase in violence in the home."
Hester said trends show that when economic hardships come, so does violence.
"When families have money problems, we see an escalation of domestic violence," Hester said.
Rushing said the grant covers the cost of a part-time investigator, equipment to better document evidence of such crimes and education for officers in other departments.
"We are pleased to be the pilot program for domestic violence," he said.